Dreamweaver CS 3: The Missing Manual
By David Sawyer McFarlans
995 pages, paperback
US: $44.99, CAN: $58.99
This book is billed as. “The book that should have been in the box.” Adobe would have needed a pretty large box to include this 995-page book that is jam packed with tips and tricks as well as over 140 pages of step-by-step tutorials. There is also plenty of just plain “stuff” you probably never knew about Dreamweaver CS3. This really is the manual that should have been included.
When you first open Dreamweaver CS 3: The Missing Manual, you feel a bit overwhelmed by the enormous amount of content. However, as you begin to scan the chapter list you get a rush of excitement wondering what is covered in this or that section. The answer—plenty.
Dreamweaver CS 3: The Missing Manual is broken down into six “parts”.
Part one walks you through the basics of building a web page, Part two brings more advanced topics like Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and page layout. Part three, “Bringing your pages to Life” covers forms, behaviors and Flash insertion to name a few topics. Part four walks you through the process of building a site. Topics like site management and the Internet are also covered. In part five, “Dreamweaver CS3 Power” takes you up to power-user level and introduces libraries, templates and automating/customizing DW CS3. Part six “Dynamic Dreamweaver” takes you to an even higher level of programming with topics like adding data to your web pages, dynamic site features and server side XML and XSLT.
While one could read through this book, I found it tremendously helpful as a reference guide. As I continued exploring Dreamweaver CS 3: The Missing Manual, I did find myself reading through some sections almost completely. For example, I read through a good portion of Chapter 7, Tables, since I use them on my own site (RichLefko.Com).
One of the best features of Dreamweaver CS 3: The Missing Manual is the 140 pages of tutorials. A companion web site holds the actual files you can download which accompany these tutorials. Once downloaded, the book walks you through the tutorial.
For example, I worked through the “Adding a Table and Data” tutorial.
You start with a page like this:
Then you follow the instructions in the book to add data and insert a table, so you end up with this:
I found the tutorial easy to follow and the downloaded files even included a finished page so I could be sure mine was completed correctly.
In conclusion, Dreamweaver CS 3: The Missing Manual includes just about every thing you’d want to know about Dreamweaver CS3 and presents it in a great format that is easy to follow. The tutorials are a great bonus.